The telecom department (DoT) has allowed Indian telecom operators to launch the ‘Aadhaar’ e-KYC service across all the licensed service areas for issuance of mobile connections. With the nod, telecom operators will now be able to issue new mobile connections with instant SIM activation using the Aadhar card for eKYC as an alternative process to the existing PoI/ PoA document based processes.
The first roll out of Aadhaar-based e-KYC will be done by leading telecom operator Bharti Airtel later this week, according to repots, while Vodafone and Idea Cellular will do the same in coming weeks.
Sunil Sood, MD & CEO, Vodafone India, in a statement said that Aadhaar based eKYC will improve quality of sales as well as regulatory compliance. For the regulator, Sood said, eKYC not only means a green initiative but also hassle free governance and accurate audit results.
The telecom department, in a notification, said, “In the e-KYC service, customer will be able online authorize UIDAI through Aadhaar authentication using Aadhaar number and biometrics to provide their demographic data along with digitally signed photograph to service provider..
“As per UIDAI, digitally signed electronic KYC data provided by UIDAI is machine readable, making it possible for the Licensees to directly store it as the customer record in their database for purposes of issuing a mobile connection,” the department further added.
With the nod, telecom service providers are allowed to appoint or employ franchisee, agents, distributors and employees for provision of the service by them.
“The Licensee (service providers) shall keep proper control over them and the Licensee shall be liable for the acts done by its franchisee, agents, distributors and employees in the provisioning of service,” the telecom department said.
The e-KYC solution is an instant, secure and green mobile subscriber verification project, where a customer’s Aadhar card and fingerprints are adequate for both validating and activating new prepaid and postpaid connections.
“e-KYC through Aadhaar for telecom subscriber verification would be beneficial to all the stakeholders i.e. Telecom companies, customers and Government,” Hemant Joshi, Partner, Deloitte Haskins & Sells LLP said.
Joshi said that e-KYC would bring down the cost of subscriber acquisition significantly for telcos as they would not be required to spend on physical transportation of forms, its verification, scanning and storage.
“The amount of saving can be substantial considering number net addition of subscribers by telecom industry during FY 2015-16 is more than 62 Million (The gross addition number would be substantially higher) . Also it would help easier compliance and reduction in litigation on account of audit carried out by term cell,” he added.
For subscribers, it would reduce time to SIM activation as KYC is verified instantly and reduce paper work requirement. “For Govt, it would keep audit trail and ensure national and personal security of citizens,” Joshi added.